Adding ballast

Next qualification window for AM tournament that I participate in is starting in 10 days. Exactly on September 10th best 100 drivers will be competing (in the upcoming 2 weeks) for 50 spots which lead them in next stages of this yearly competition.

The propositions of the tournament say that the minimal weight is 80kg (If bellow-ballast is added, if above-nothing happens). I weight 63kg right now, so I assume I will need about 15-17kg ballast on my kart as I will get some kg back until then.

I heard it doesn´t necessarily need to slow you down, it can actually help your tyres and grip levels overall. Have you got any experience with these kind of situations and have you lost or gained time after adding weight? Would some seat adjustments help as well?

(In case someone did not read my fantastic thread with 200 replies out of which only about 50 relate to it´s original topic :joy: )

I drive Rimo rentals (Alpha2) 270cc 9hp karts on Autokomerc karting center, shown bellow.

For the purposes of the competition it doesn’t really matter to you. You’ll be weighing in at 80kg.

How is ballast being added?

I am pretty sure they mentioned adding some weight by the side of the kart, I guess small block, tile or some thing that is inserted at the karts side.


I thought those 15kg will affect my laptimes that I will need to set to go through the top50 and top25 phases and then it is the same for everyone as you said, as after top25 there will be just races so it is same. But until then, that addition could cost me valuable time and eliminate me earlier then I would like to if I don´t adapt to that weight, that is how I see the things right now at least.

Welcome to the madhouse. :crazy_face:

Regarding weighing in, you will be adding weight which is good. There’s nothing I can think of that’s either positive or negative. It just is an attempt to level the field. I think they put lead plates on a rack on the left rear of kart.

Given the variability in the karts, it’ll help even things somewhat, but not as closely as in owner-kart racing.

If every driver has to meet the same minimum weight requirement, or more, how is the weight, that you’re going to add, going to hurt you?
Just wondering, assuming everything else is equal, and you meet the minimum weight, how can there be any disadvantage?

So a rule of thumb I think is 1/10th of a sec per 20lbs approx. So figure .15 as a guess.

Alright, that doesn´t sound too bad. As I am lightweight, it might help a bit as well. I also tried to move my seat to to the front but I just can´t fit in the kart well and I hit my legs when I turn the wheel. So nothing much I can do about that as well.

ok but given how understeery the kart is, seat forwards makes sense. I am 6’ and can fit with seat super far forwards but I have shorter legs. Go forwards as possible.

Back when I was racing Mcs, there was a light and heavy class, 30 pounds difference, while I don’t remember the exact qualifying times, they were a lot more than 1/10, more like 3/10 or 4/10, maybe more.

Yah. Was just a guess. We shall see what actually happens. Let us know @Stacker

Don’t let it mess with your head. I have raced against guy weighing less (or more) by a decent margin. Sometimes by combined classes and sometimes because drivers are so self unaware they are off on their own body weight by large errors. Do y’all change karts every session? In rentals learn as much as you can about the kart you are in on warm-up/form up lap. Just be glad the track is weighing everyone. Weight is by no means the only factor. I’d say kart variance and driver experience trump that. Other drivers crashing into me is sadly a big factor, in my experience.

The weight added can be used to tune a kart if you have a choice on where to put it. front/back high/low left/right all affect handling. Looks like you have 5 turns on directions and 8 the other. You won’t know what way to go without a baseline, but you can use the general mode of the karts as a start.

In sprints I like to be a tad over just for a measure of safety. I’d rather be 5 lbs over than get a DQ @ the scales.

he was talking relative to his non weight added times.

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Good news, Bad news
Weight added will increase traction. Sound great. Good News

Bad news is
It also increases G’s at a much higher rate than it does traction. So it creates more demand for traction than it provides. Also does not help in straight line acceleration.

So think about how your lines should differ in that respect.

The main advantage you give up is not being used to the added weight like those with no weight added. Being at the bottom weight in the class is a good thing.

Understood. That is what I thought as well. I watched a great video on similar topic on K1 channel. More weight=more grip until the point where it is just too much weight and tyres can´t handle it no more.

My case isn´t so similar as it is not just me putting on weight now and getting used to it for years to follow, it is a sudden weight addition that could potentially throw me out of my rhythm and request a change in my driving style for the upcoming 2 months.

So all in all, it is something I need to just get used to, you reckon?

Since I went to rentals after owning my own karts the gigantic adjustment for me was getting beat on due to bumpers. Rentals just seem to bring out the types with less etiquette and the bumpers afford the low brow types leniency in their actions.

As far as driving style follow a fast heavy driver and watch him a bit might be the shortcut. But honestly I would have to say do what you think on your own first. Go with your normal thing and then decide what can make you quicker. I tend to have to force myself to say quicker not faster.

As I got skinnier I kept adding lead to the point where I had 50lbs on the kart. You get totally used to it. However, I bet if I took it off the kart would feel different.

You’re totally correct about that! Many years ago, after years of racing Mc heavy, 330 pounds, (I always had to add some lead) I went to Reed Open. 290. I had to go on a diet to make the weight. On the same kart, my 1st time on the track, I was amazed at the difference in handling.

Yah I’ll bet 40lbs is very noticeable. It certainly is when having to lift the darn thing!

When you add 15 kilos, you’ll notice some difference in lap times and you may notice a small difference in balance. But I wouldn’t bother too much. The rental kart is over ten times heavier than the lead that you add. Besides, it is a very good thing that there is a minimum weight in the first place, makes it more even and close.

Alright guys, I guess nothing to worry about too much, just wanted to check if there are any hidden problems or benefits that you experienced!